NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Omaha volleyball team opened the season with a 3-1 (16-25, 25-21, 23-25, 21-25) loss at New Orleans in the opening match of the New Orleans Invitational Friday afternoon.
Leaders for Omaha
In her debut match, transfer Claire Leonard recorded a team-high 15 kills on .295 hitting to go with four blocks. Setter Jaclyn Taylor had a team-best 21 assists, while Claire Mountjoy and Courtney Morehead recorded 12 and 10 digs, respectively. The duo of Abby Bergsten and Sadie Limback tallied eight kills each.
Leaders for New Orleans
The Privateers were led by the double-double of Sarah Thomas, who tallied 27 assists and 15 digs. Blessing Dunn (16 digs) and Samantha Uline (14 digs) recorded double-figure dig efforts, and Brianna Vega had a match-high 16 kills.
Breaking Down the Box Score
- New Orleans recorded more kills (47-44), assists (41-40) and digs (64-51).
- Omaha held the advantage on aces (6-1).
- Omaha and New Orleans matched each other with nine blocks apiece.
Inside Set 1
A slow start plagued Omaha in the first set, as New Orleans won 25-16. The Privateers opened the match on a 9-4 run, before increasing it to 18-10. Both Bergsten and Leonard combined for six of Omaha’s 16 total points in the opening frame.
Inside Set 2
The Mavericks once again found themselves in an early deficit, but were able to claw back and overcome a four-point hole after an Isabella Sade kill and an ace from Limback. Omaha was able to tie it at 10-all midway through the second, and eventually found a spark off back-to-back kills from Anna Blaschko. Omaha eventually maintained a multi-point cushion after Taylor assisted Limback on a kill to make it 21-18. From there, Omaha was able to cruise to the four-point win and tie the match at 1-1.
Inside Set 3
The Privateers got off to a hot start in the third, leading by as many as five points (10-5). Omaha, however, refused to waiver and clawed back to tie it at 12-12. Both teams exchanged points and saw the match tied on 10 different occasions, but New Orleans was able to edge Omaha 25-23 to lead 2-1.
Inside Set 4
In the early portion of the fourth set, Bergsten recorded her eighth kill to give the Mavericks an 8-6 advantage. New Orleans was able to respond and retake the lead, but the duo of Limback and Blaschko recorded the team’s eighth block to pull within two (14-12). After being down by multiple points, Omaha was able to dwindle the deficit to just two once again (18-16), but could not close the gap. New Orleans went on to win the final set by four and to take the match.
Omaha returns to action Saturday, Aug. 25, against Murray State and Houston for the final day of the New Orleans Invitational. The first serves are at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively. Live stats and stream will be available to follow on OMavs.com.